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shavy65

Easiest Targets someone who doesn`t have a clue.....me

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After about 3 weeks I`ve only managed to squeeze in 2 sessions with my scope, 130Q Celestron Astromaster. I`v got the stabdard 10 & 20mm EP`s and x2 barlow, although I have a 8mm BST on it`s way to me now!

I`m looking for a bit of advise on what I should/could look out for on my next session, so far my extensive list of achievements are as follows :- the moon, and Jupiter   :(

I did print out a "moon map" and a list of moon targets to search for, this aside, can anyone else suggest any other rewarding targets?

Thanks to all for help in getting this far!

Shavy

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Each one started this way at some point.

I'd suggest the Constellation of Cassiopeia - around 10pm it'll be right at the zenith and you can't miss it. It looks like a ''W'' or ''M'' ... just scan around those stars and you'll find a lot of interesting double stars, open clusters and a little bit of diligence you'll spot some galaxies around that area. If you draw imaginary lines from there as shown in the Chart below you'll get to Andromeda.

cas.jpg

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If you don't have Stellerium download it and then choose a area of sky that you have good view of, set the filters in Stellarium to show Messier objects and work your way through them the South is the better FOV as ever thing you can see will over the following year pass through this area. There are free Telrad map to download these show the Messier objects and while a Telrad would be good they work just as well with out and can be aligned to the Telrad circles in Stellarium for star hopping..

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ORION! She's a beauty in the sky, so easy to spot and once you target M42 get ready for a treat. Your I scope should give you nice views of Pleaides nearby -stunning indeed!

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Yes, you could just work your way through the Messier list. There was a great article in December 2013 Sky at Night magazine on some interesting objects in the Caldwell list (Patrick's list of interesting objects); maybe grab a copy of that and work your way through.

James

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yep, if you have a southerly facing view and start at about 8pm, here would be my beginners list

DOWNLOAD STELLARIUM AND IF NECESSARY SKEYE FOR ANDROID. Makes matching whats up there alot easier.

start off with the double cluster (ngc 884/869) between cassiopeia and perseus

then try for andromeda (m31), dont get upset if light pollution means its a very feint fuzzy blob... remember you still have seen a galaxy!

have a cruise about cass for a while, there are some lovely star fields in there and its very pretty,

as times marches on,

another vote for the pleaides (M45 seven sisters) under perseus, absolutely corking in that scope you have!

straight under the pleaides is the centre of Taurus around the bright star aldebaran, again just cruise about the field of view and its like a carpet of diamonds. very pretty.

Moving left from aldebaran, theres a few clusters in auriga (m36, 37 and 38) that are pretty and well within reach of your scope

now comes the real wow moments, under auriga is M35 - a superb cluster at the feet of Gemini.

to the left of that is Jupiter,

Try splitting a double star - Castor is a nice one whilst you are in that area.

Leaving the best till last!!!! To the right of gemini (under Taurus) is orion, it should be getting higher in the sky by now. Betelgeuse is the super dooper red star and then you have Orions nebula (M42) below the 3 stars that form orions belt.

by now its probably past 10pm, you are frozen solid - but you will have had an ace time and your scope will have proven its worth as a lovely multipurpose widefield telescope!

wear LOTS of layers, have a flask of hot coffee to hand and wear a thick warm hat and gloves!!!

Nick

Edited by nicks90
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Brilliant, just brilliant. Great advice, and greatfully received. I will try my best to let you know how I get on. I go onto nightshift tomo so will be stayin up later tonight, hopefully no clouds tonight!

Cheers all!

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Welcome to SGL, there's loads of great advice on here to be had. I concur, M42 is a dazzler. Better yet, try holding a camera on the eyepiece,  and taking a few shots on slow speed 15-20 seconds or so and you'll be amazed.

Good luck with your targets and happy Stargazing.

:smiley:

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The December issue of Astronomy Now has two great articles aimed at those starting out in this hobby, Double Stars in Orion and The Winter Sky for Absolute Beginners.

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ORION! She's a beauty in the sky, so easy to spot and once you target M42 get ready for a treat. Your I scope should give you nice views of Pleaides nearby -stunning indeed!

I don't think HE would like being called a SHE.

:tongue:

Orion,Pleaides,Cassiopeia are all lovely targets at this time of the year and really easy to spot even with the naked eye and then you can zero in on them with the scope. 

As others have said......................download Stellarium if you can and have a look around and then you will be able to pick targets. You can enhance the image on stellarium to show outlines of constellations and even overlay "artwork" images to show you the image of them and what they represent etc. It just makes more sense in the mind if you see a constellation (Orion) as an image of a man holding up a shield or a fleece of wool (im not sure which is the correct mythological one).

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It's worth subscribing to a magazine the likes of Sky at Night or 

Astronomy Now, they cover the month ahead, with lot's of objects to

observe, with star maps and the centre pages are a planisphere, that

also helps to see what is on view and where to look for it.

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yep, if you have a southerly facing view and start at about 8pm, here would be my beginners list

DOWNLOAD STELLARIUM AND IF NECESSARY SKEYE FOR ANDROID. Makes matching whats up there alot easier.

start off with the double cluster (ngc 884/869) between cassiopeia and perseus

then try for andromeda (m31), dont get upset if light pollution means its a very feint fuzzy blob... remember you still have seen a galaxy!

have a cruise about cass for a while, there are some lovely star fields in there and its very pretty,

as times marches on,

another vote for the pleaides (M45 seven sisters) under perseus, absolutely corking in that scope you have!

straight under the pleaides is the centre of Taurus around the bright star aldebaran, again just cruise about the field of view and its like a carpet of diamonds. very pretty.

Moving left from aldebaran, theres a few clusters in auriga (m36, 37 and 38) that are pretty and well within reach of your scope

now comes the real wow moments, under auriga is M35 - a superb cluster at the feet of Gemini.

to the left of that is Jupiter,

Try splitting a double star - Castor is a nice one whilst you are in that area.

Leaving the best till last!!!! To the right of gemini (under Taurus) is orion, it should be getting higher in the sky by now. Betelgeuse is the super dooper red star and then you have Orions nebula (M42) below the 3 stars that form orions belt.

by now its probably past 10pm, you are frozen solid - but you will have had an ace time and your scope will have proven its worth as a lovely multipurpose widefield telescope!

wear LOTS of layers, have a flask of hot coffee to hand and wear a thick warm hat and gloves!!!

Nick

iam also just starting out trying to find my way around the sky, i will start with this session as soon as we get some clear skys, if i start at 8.00pm every night will this list be there every night (what i mean is will the stars be there at the same time every day of every month). i cant wait to get going with my new nexstar 127. all i do is keep looking at it my telescope in its storage room, also reading the manual over and over again.

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Lots of good advice here. Not sure what kind of views you can get in Scotland, but here Venus is a nice easy early evening view.

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The Pleiades (naked eye visible), Orion Nebula (naked eye visible), Andromeda Galaxy (naked eye visible in dark skies) will be good to start, try and have a go at the Double Cluster too.

+1 for Stellarium, and a Pocket Atlas with Red Torch :).

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From another novice.

Get "Star Walk" on your phone (pay the couple of £ for the good version). I find that it is really clear for working out what you can see at different times.

What to spot next:

1/ Orion Nebula M42 - I always go back to that when I can't find other stuff. But it is only just crawling over the horizon in the East at 20:00 at the moment.

2/ Ring Nebula M57 - Not as spectacular (faint little ring of smoke). But a good satisfying first find in the West at this time of the evening. No good later on but you'll have Orion for company then.

Happy watching.

Paul

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iam also just starting out trying to find my way around the sky, i will start with this session as soon as we get some clear skys, if i start at 8.00pm every night will this list be there every night (what i mean is will the stars be there at the same time every day of every month). i cant wait to get going with my new nexstar 127. all i do is keep looking at it my telescope in its storage room, also reading the manual over and over again.

no, as the seasons change, the position of the stars also rotate with the earth. so you may come across the terms "winter constellations" and "summer constellations" - "galaxy season" is also another frequent term you may come across.

My own personal back yard has views to the south west - south east, so my viewing calendar is November being good for pegasus to Orion during sociable evening hours observing (8-11pm). As we progress in to March its Orion to Leo, then June its Leo to Hercules and early autumn its Hercules to Pegasus again.

So I plan my viewing sessions according to the time of year and what is best viewed to the south. Download stellarium, its free and awesome at planning out what to observe. Obviously when i go out somewhere dark and have better all round visibility - I may do my "south facing" stuff first, but then revisit targets i have missed eslewhere in the sky.

Nick

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I'd say at the moment it'd be worth trying for:

  • The Perseus Double Cluster. Not too hard to find, and I love the spray of red stars in one of the clusters.
  • M31/M32. You'll want to use as low magnification as you can - so the 20mm.
  • The Ring Nebula would make a nice target for trying your 8mm BST out with, when it arrives. (Remember, find it with the 20mm, then swap to the 8mm)
  • M45 - The Plieades.
  • NGC457 - Know variously as the Owl, ET, Airplane cluster. I think it looks like an owl. Near Cassiopeia, so not too hard to find.

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